The Impact of Ebola in Liberia and Its Post Recovery Challenges

first_imgSalutation/ Introduction:Thank you Dr. Contis for your kind introduction.  The people of Liberia are grateful for the work your organization has conducted to strengthen Liberia’s health care system and the support of the American people as Liberia struggles to recover from the devastating impact of Ebola.Thank you Dr. Betancourt, The Universal Peace Federation and The Washington Times for the invitation and the opportunity to inform members of the global community about the health and development challenges that Liberia and the neighboring countries of Guinea and Sierra Leone are struggling to overcome.Congressman Williams, on behalf of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the government and people of Liberia,  we thank the United States and your generous support through the deployment of U.S. military personnel from your Congressional district to construct 17 (100-bed containment units), as well as the other work US military personnel are doing to strengthen the health infrastructure in Liberia. We are also profoundly indebted to the private sector, the public health community, and humanitarian organizations for their assistance. Distinguished invited guests,Liberia has come a long way; a small country on the West Coast of Africa, just about the size of the State of Ohio. Founded by freed American slaves in 1822, Liberia continues to enjoy a historic relations with the United States. In fact, the United States remains the most important development partner of Liberia.Since March 2014, nearly every hour the media has reported increasingly grim details about the fierce threat and devastating impact of Ebola.  The World Health Organization has estimated that Ebola will affect 1.4 million lives, if proper corrective measures were not instituted.  While we do not doubt the WHO estimate, we do know that the impact of the disease is not just measured in human lives.  The Ebola outbreak has a variety of consequences – and unfortunately – all of them are grim – and some of them will even be felt by those participating in this forum.One of my most important concerns as Liberia’s diplomatic representative to the United States is that we must control the panic factor to prevent Liberia from becoming forever dependent on the donor community and to encourage the private sector to not lose faith in our ability to be investment worthy.Prior to the outbreak of Ebola, there were only 50 medical doctors in Liberia, a few dentists and one psychiatrist for the entire population of 4.1 million people.  A 14-year-civil war destroyed the country and devastated its infrastructure and claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people, displaced about one million of its citizens. The country experienced a huge brain drain. Therefore, when the deadly Ebola virus hit Liberia, our system was overwhelmed and could not contain the virus and stop its spread.The Ebola virus disease has claimed the lives of 2,800 people, including 131 healthcare workers, leaving about 3,000 orphans behind and about 5,000 currently infected.  We applaud the support of the United States and the international community, and should like to report of a recent decline in the outbreak of new cases. We, however, like to reiterate that much more is needed to be done to eradicate the virus.Therefore, a compelling case can be made for an accelerated international response to eliminate Ebola by working with us to rebuild our health infrastructure, provide critical supplies and health services (including the further development  of a vaccine), and as important – by investing in systems and sectors to ensure economic stability and security for Liberia and the region.Friends of Liberia and our dear partners, since the end of the civil war, Liberia has been making steady progress towards economic resurgence. Liberia was beginning to be regarded as a post-conflict success story in Africa, consolidating its peace and democracy.  Political stability created the enabling environment for foreign investment in iron ore, maritime, rubber industry, tourism, and construction of ocean front resorts, as well as, infrastructure (particularly telecommunications and energy).Unfortunately, Ebola – and its wide ranging multi-sector impact, has plunged Liberia into limbo, both in terms of economic development and geo-political insecurity.  In 2013, Liberia was among the top 10 countries with the highest GDP growth rate. Its GDP was expected to grow by 5.9% in 2014, but the expected gain has been reversed to 2.5%.In addition to the enormous and tragic loss of human life, the Ebola epidemic is having devastating effects on the Liberian economy in a variety of essential sectors by halting trade, hurting agriculture and scaring investors. For example:a) Agriculture accounts for 39% of Liberia’s GDP. Disruptions from the outbreak will result in diminishing yields of Liberia’s staple food, such as rice and cassava. Prices of these commodities are already increasing exponentially. Such shocks will push inflation to 13% from 7% prior to the Ebola outbreak.b) Mining activity, which constitutes 14% of the economy is decreasing. China Union and ArcelorMittal are scaling down iron ore mining. c) Fiscal revenues will decline as limited economic activity reduces revenues from taxes, tariffs and custom duties. At the same time, to resolve the crisis and meet health and security needs of the people, government expenditure will increase, with a short-term fiscal impact of $93 million or 4.7% of GDP.Dear friends of Liberia,I have come here therefore, to gain the support that is essential to redevelop Liberia and restore its future.  Liberians are a resilient people – with help they can make it happen. While our immediate focus is on the eradication of the Ebola virus disease, we are equally concerned about post-Ebola recovery programs.These are the reasons that international aid must be sustained and new investment made for the growth and survival of Liberia:Ebola has made Liberia and the region vulnerable to bio-terrorism.  We have witnessed how bio-terrorism has undermined the security in other parts of the world.The Liberian family, ordinarily strong, responsible, and vibrant, has broken down.  Wage earners have lost their lives.  Children with no extended family are orphaned.  International human traffickers are preying on those women and children without the capacity to maintain themselves or lack of access to the few services currently available to assist them with this life transition.The infrastructure, particularly electricity, is not reliable and operates only a few hours each day, at a rate of 54 cents per kilo watt hour; perhaps, the highest in the world. Investment in solar energy to reduce the strain on the country’s power grid is essential in order to adequately support the containment units being built and restore Liberia’s business community. It is critical that Liberia and its neighboring countries develop the capacity to prevent future epidemics.  Failure to implement a comprehensive strategy to provide effective prevention mechanisms and life saving care not only helps to reduce deaths but ensures the confidence of the population that their government values human life and their family and the prosperity of the country.With continued help from the United States, people like you, and the donor community, frustration and civil disobedience and outside agitation will be stemmed.           Finally, ladies and gentlemen, friends of Liberia, the take away message today is that:We are not asking you to feel sorry for Liberia or to view it as a “basket case”.  We are asking you to believe in Liberia and value its history as an important U.S. allyWe are asking you to realize that unless the Ebola virus gets under control, the country is vulnerable for violence and discontent – and if that in fact occurs the country is destined for generations of poverty and will be ripe for crisis.If just every third person in this room is willing to contribute even one box of medical gloves, and companies take a risk with us to invest in Liberia’s private sector, the next time I address you I will be presenting a positive, encouraging report on Liberia’s resurgence.           Thank you for being concerned enough about this crisis to attend today. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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My Forays Into Multifamily Affordable Housing

first_imgAfter a decades-long career in high-end, single-family renovation and construction, and a relatively new business providing consulting and certification services for the same market, I recently became involved in several multifamily projects. Starting with National Green Building Standard (NGBS) certification on a market-rate apartment building that was completed in 2010, I am now in the early stages of LEED certification for several affordable projects throughout the southeast.First off, let me say that it is very exciting to see how much affordable housing is being built to green home standards. It appears to me that between various incentives available, and housing authorities recognizing how sustainable building can positively affect the long-term value of their properties, that high-performance housing is well entrenched in this sector. This is reinforced by current statistics from LEED for Homes showing that over 50% of their certified units are in the affordable sector.So What’s The Problem?For those of you who follow my other posts on this site under the Green Curmudgeon banner, you must be thinking, “when will he start whining about something?” Patience, gentle readers, we will get there soon enough.It is always been interesting to me to compare different projects and how they score in various rating systems. Since most green building programs provide significant incentives for density and location in walkable communities, multifamily urban projects tend to start out with a point advantage over less dense, more remote projects.The NGBS project was a 282-unit, eight-story concrete and steel-framed building. Since I was brought in fairly late in the process (just before insulation, actually), there were challenges in obtaining the certification. Budgeted for fiberglass batt insulation, we spent many weeks training, inspecting, and retraining their installers to aim for Grade 1 installation quality.Now anyone who has read my recent post on batt insulation knows, I am not a fan of batts, regardless off what they are made out of, and my experience with recent projects has done nothing to change my opinion.A Recurring ProblemThe same problem came up recently on another project, this one 100 units of affordable duplex gut renovations in Macon, Georgia, home of The Allman Brothers and Little Richard, among notables. This project, known as Felton Homes is an interesting project, consisting of a neighborhood of slab-on-grade, solid brick 1940s era buildings that are being gutted, slightly expanded, and completely remodeled.All the homes are planned to be certified as Energy Star, EarthCraft House, and LEED for Homes. Although I submitted my proposal for LEED certification months before, I was not brought in to start the process until the first building was just about ready for insulation, which leads to the first concern.The existing brick walls are being coated with 1½” of high-density spray foam between furring strips on both the interior and exterior, and the roofs will have low-density spray foam applied to create conditioned attics — both very good decisions. But here’s the rub — for some reason, they specified fiberglass batt insulation in the new exterior wall sections, of which there are very few. And to add to the problem, these walls are framed with metal studs, providing an excellent thermal bridge in the walls.Our first site inspection led to removal of every batt (thankfully not too many in this case) to point out gaps and compressions, and extended discussions with the project team about proper installation. Of course, the cost to upgrade to a spray or blown-in product came it too high to change, but they are still in negotiations on that subject. This is an example where a generally very well designed and specified project could have been even better had energy and green building consultants brought in early in the design process rather than as an afterthought.Anticipating a problemOn yet another project, 18 affordable townhomes in Chattanooga, Tennessee, also scheduled for LEED certification by myself and Abe Kruger of Kruger Sustainability Group, we were brought in towards the end of the design process, just as documents were being released for bids.In our discussions with the architect, we expressed our concerns with batt insulation, but they made it into the specs. Now, as construction is just getting ready to start, we are in discussions with the contractor and his insulation subcontractor about Grade 1 installation. While this quality was written into the specifications, it appears that the installer doesn’t really understand what it takes to achieve it, we are advising them to anticipate having to remove and reinstall most, if not all, of the batts for the first few buildings unit they get it right, and we are urging them to upgrade to a blown or spray product. It will be interesting to see how this resolves itself.Wasted Breath and Good DecisionsSometimes I feel like I am wasting a lot of breath going over the issues with batt installation with project teams, but in the case of Felton Homes, the day after we left the job site, I was copied on an e-mail from the project manager, directing his supervisor to remove the batts and install spray foam on the first two units in order to get ready to hang drywall. When the added cost of the spray foam was weighed against schedule delays, it came out the winner. Once I clearly communicated to the project team how difficult it would be to get Grade 1 quality, they made a good field decision.Interestingly, Grade 1 insulation is not a specific requirement of LEED for Homes, while it is necessary to achieve EarthCraft House Platinum level certification.Overall, I am heartened by the amount of high-performance affordable housing currently under construction and renovation. I appreciate the opportunity to work on these projects, offer my expertise, and help make them as efficient as possible, all while working within budget constraints. I’m looking forward to seeing upcoming projects break ground, and, hopefully, work on many more in the future.Closing moteAn introduction is in order: Carl Seville, GBA’s Green Curmudgeon, joins Amy and Peter on the Green Communities blog. Welcome aboard, Carl!last_img read more

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Fire breaks out in Kalka-Howrah train, no casualties

first_imgA fire broke out in the front coach of Kalka-Howrah train on Tuesday, however, no one was injured, a Railway Police official said.The blaze erupted in a seating cum luggage coach in the early hours between Dhirpur to Dhoda Khedia railway stations near Kurukshetra, Haryana, he said.“Smoke filled the SLR bogie (Seating cum Luggage Rake), which is next to the engine. The train was brought to a halt and all the passengers were safely evacuated when smoke was noticed,” the official said.“The bogie caught fire later and fire tenders were called. Three women and two children, who complained of difficulty in breathing as they had inhaled smoke, were provided medical attention,” he added.Short circuit?As per preliminary details, an electrical short circuit was believed to be the reason behind the fire, he said, adding that forensic experts had been called to ascertain the exact cause.The train which had started from Kalka in Haryana in the early morning was headed to Howrah.After the incident, the train was held up for more than two hours before the affected bogie was detached and placed about 50 to 60 metres away. Rail traffic on the route was also affected, he said.last_img read more

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Search on for 3 workers trapped in coal mine

first_imgSearch operations continued on Thursday at an opencast coal mine of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) in Odisha’s Talcher where three workers are feared trapped.A 30-member National Disaster Response Force team is trying to trace the workers under massive heaps of coal and debris. Rescue operations have been affected due to intermittent rain.Mound collapseThe accident had taken place around 11 p.m. on Tuesday when a portion of an earthen mound caved in and trapped several workers. While nine persons were rescued, one body was recovered. The public sector firm had said that labourers working on the night shift at Bharatpur opencast mine in Talcher Coalfields had come under a dump slide due to a strata failure. MCL (Technical/Operations) director O.P. Singh said sincere efforts were being made to trace the trapped workers.The incident was also raised in the State Assembly with Senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra saying that the MCL authorities should be taken to task for their laxity, apart from giving adequate compensation to the kin of the victims.last_img read more

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Rental agencies struggle with screenings as security concerns rise

first_imgMonday’s deadly rental van rampage in Toronto shows how quickly a vehicle can be turned into a weapon, but rental agencies are finding few clear options to prevent their property from involvement in such violent acts.The urgency to find solutions is increasing, however.The attack in Toronto that left at least 10 people dead and several injured is only the latest of a spate of vehicle attacks — including one in Edmonton last September — that have security experts grappling with solutions.Efforts are further along in Europe, which has seen a rash of vehicle attacks across the continent. In the U.K., vehicle rental companies were asked to conduct tougher background checks following two separate van attacks in London last June.But rental agencies are still limited in how well they can screen customers, said Toby Poston, director of communications at the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association.“Members aren’t experts at profiling customers,” said Poston.“People don’t come into rental branches wearing camo gear and stab vests and with that sort of glint in their eye. Quite often, these people just present themselves like any normal person.”The British association is, however, looking to better co-ordinate with law and security officials to make it easier to share data. Poston said rental agencies wouldn’t have access to terror watchlists or the like, but could potentially feed information to authorities for better monitoring.Member companies are also looking to potentially institute other record searches like credit and criminal background checks, but even then there is no clear way to determine that a vehicle shouldn’t be rented, said Poston.“You have to remember that a criminal record is not always reason enough to not rent someone a vehicle. And you have to be careful from a discrimination point of view.”The accused in the Toronto van attack, Alek Minassian, did not even raise any red flags during a brief stint in the Canadian Armed Forces last year, a military source told The Canadian Press.Toronto police said he rented the van from a Ryder rental location north of the city. The company said Tuesday it was fully co-operating with authorities, but declined to comment on its current security policies.The Associated Canadian Car Rental Operators said government officials have yet to reach out to try to co-ordinate data sharing.But any such efforts would be complicated, said vice president of government relations Craig Hirota.“It’s challenging, how do you use that information so that it doesn’t infringe on existing rights of the individual and rights to privacy?”The RCMP’s National Critical Infrastructure Team has been in contact with industry and sends out relevant information, Hirota added.“We are in the loop with local and federal law enforcement when there are bulletins.”He said the rental industry has long been concerned with fraudulent and criminal activity with rentals, but there are limited options for screenings.“Vehicle rental agencies have been concerned with people doing bad things with rental cars since the inception of the industry. Obviously if there was a way to tell a renter was going to do something prohibited with your vehicle, we’d love to have that.”The U.K. rental association is looking to security models elsewhere, including the New York Police Department’s Operation Nexus program that facilitates reporting of suspicious business encounters.It is also considering the establishment of a national accreditation scheme that could include training and formalizing policies such as no cash rentals. Companies also generally require business accounts for customers wanting to rent larger trucks, said Poston.Elsewhere in Europe, Italy has implemented a real-time notification scheme with rental operators and a similar one is being developed in Belgium. Sweden is looking to introduce geofence technology that could connect with a vehicle’s on-board computer and limit its speed to a safe level.The ease of carrying out such attacks, and the difficulties in detecting them are part of the reason for their rise, said Jeremy Littlewood, an assistant professor at Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs.“It’s easy to replicate if someone gets that into their head,” said Littlewood.Littlewood also questioned the effectiveness of background checks. He pointed out that Alek Minassian, now charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder for Monday’s attack, was not known to police.“So far, police authorities are saying this person was not known to us. And so even if we had a database, our individual in this case is not going to show up from the police side.”Even when perpetrators are known it is still difficult to stop an attack, said Littlewood, noting that Martin Couture-Rouleau was reported to be under RCMP surveillance when in 2014 he used a vehicle in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., to hit two members of the Canadian Armed Forces, leaving one dead.Prevention has instead focused on more cement barriers, and heavy trucks at intersections for major events, but there’s no way to fully prevent this sort of attack entirely, said Littlewood.“We have to recognize the limits of what can be done here, and the reality is we have to accept there are going to be some risks, and we can never entirely make ourselves into a zero-risk world.”last_img read more

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Propipeline demonstrators rally outside Kinder Morgan meeting

first_imgAround 100 people rallied outside Kinder Morgan’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Downtown Calgary Wednesday.They were there to voice their support for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.Pro pipeline rally as Kinder Morgan holds its AGM in Calgary. pic.twitter.com/Kxc5LiZtHh— Jon Muma (@jonmuma) May 16, 2018The demonstration outside the Metropolitan Centre comes as a deadline looms from the company on whether it will proceed with construction.Lara said she knows the benefits of a strong oil and gas industry.“I lost my job in 2015 and I was off work for a year and a half, so I just think, like, let’s get going and let’s get some people working and build it and get our oil out of here,” she said.“We’ve been kinda getting pushed around a little bit and I think it’s time to show the rest of Canada that we really do need the energy and we should be proud of our Canadian energy and our Canadian product,” another demonstrator, Monty, said.#KinderMorgan #cdnpoli #ableg pic.twitter.com/klDi2jm7ry— Michael Lumsden (@LumsdenNews) May 16, 2018The CEO of Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. says he “appreciates” an announcement by Finance Minister Bill Morneauthat the government will compensate investors in the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion if “unnecessary delays” cause costs to rise.Morneau says the government is willing to “provide indemnity” to any investors, be they the project’s original architects or otherwise, to ensure the controversial Alberta-B.C. project is able to proceed.Kinder Morgan chief executive Steven Kean offered no further comment during his remarks and declined to talk to reporters after his company’s first annual general meeting on Tuesday since being spun off by U.S.-based Kinder Morgan Inc. to hold most of its Canadian assets a year ago.Last month, the company said it would stop all non-essential spending on the expansion project to triple the amount of oil flowing from Alberta to the West Coast, which Alberta says is critical to reducing discounts on its product due mainly to pipeline bottlenecks.Kean reiterated that construction won’t be restarted unless there are sufficient assurances by the end of this month that it can proceed.last_img read more

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Oil storage firm Gibson Energy sells trucking assets to grow terminal core

first_imgCALGARY, A.B. – Gibson Energy Inc. says the sale of its trucking arm means it has completed all of the non-core asset sales it targeted a year ago as part of a strategy to focus on its Alberta oil storage and handling assets.The Calgary-based company, which helps send one in four barrels of crude exported from Western Canada through its Hardisty terminal in central Alberta, says it will pocket about $100 million from the sale, bringing its divestiture proceeds to about $325 million since early 2018.It says Trimac Transportation has agreed to pay about $70 million for the trucking assets and a Trimac affiliate is to pay $30 million for property in Edmonton containing a field office and shop, with the deals expected to close later this year. Gibson previously announced the sales of its environmental services and wholesale propane businesses for about $225 million.The company reported 2018 net income of $151 million on revenue of $6.8 billion, up from $44 million on $5.7 billion in 2017, as it invested $302 million to build new storage tanks in Edmonton and Hardisty and a pipeline in the U.S.It plans to spend $200 million to $250 million on capital projects this year.last_img read more

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Pandya Rahul fined Rs 20 lakh each for their sexist comments

first_imgNew Delhi: India cricketers Hardik Pandya and K L Rahul were on Saturday fined Rs 20 lakh each by the BCCI Ombudsman D K Jain for their sexist comments on a popular TV show. In the order published on the official BCCI website, Jain wrote that no further action will be taken against Pandya and Rahul, who have already served a provisional suspension and tendered an unconditional apology for their loose comments on women. Instead, he directed the World Cup bound players to play a fine of Rs 20 lakh each that included a payment of Rs 1 lakh each to “each of the most deserving widows of ten constables in para-military forces who have lost their lives while on duty, through ‘Bharat Ke Veer App”. Jain also instructed them to deposit Rs 10 lakh each in the fund “created by the Cricket Association for the blind”. All payments are to be made within four weeks from the date of the order — April 19, 2019. The Supreme Court-appointed Ombudsman had issued notices to Pandya and Rahul earlier this month to appear for deposition for their controversial comments on Koffee with Karan’. Pandya and Rahul were provisionally suspended by the Committee of Administrators (COA) for their remarks before the suspension was lifted pending an inquiry by the Ombudsman. Both players became subjects of nationwide criticism following their remarks on women. The controversial episode was aired in the first week of January, triggering outrage, which prompted the COA to call the duo back from the tour of Australia, handing them provisional suspensions. The two tendered unconditional apologies and their ban was provisionally lifted pending inquiry. Once Jain assumed his role, the COA handed over the matter to Ombudsman for the completion of inquiry. The two players have also spoken publicly on the incident, recalling one of the toughest phases of their respective careers.last_img read more

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VikingsLions Is The Biggest Game Of Week 12

With Thanksgiving upon us, we’re entering the home stretch of the NFL regular season. So what are the most important games of Week 12?One way of looking at this — as we did in 2014 — is to figure out how much every game affects each team’s playoff chances. We do this by using the model behind our 2016 NFL predictions to calculate each team’s playoff “swing” based on a game outcome. For example, we estimate that if Oakland beats Carolina, the Raiders’ playoff chances will rise to 88 percent from 81 percent. If they lose, their chances will drop to 70 percent — an 18 percentage point swing.1 Some detail on what this means. Our NFL predictions are based on 100,000 simulations of the rest of the season and are updated after every game ends. In the simulations in which Oakland beats Carolina, the Raiders make the playoffs 88 percent of the time. In the simulations in which they lose, they make the playoffs 70 percent of the time. But at the end of Week 12, it’s unlikely that Oakland’s playoff probabilities will be exactly 88 percent or exactly 70 percent, because the team’s chances depend on the outcome of several games, not just their own. Carolina’s chances would see a more modest swing (rising to 17 percent from 9 percent if the Panthers win and falling to 4 percent if they lose); Buffalo, Atlanta, Miami and several other contenders could also see their probabilities change.By summing up these individual swings, we can get sense of which games will make the largest total impact league-wide. Here are this week’s top five, ranked by total swing: CHANCE OF MAKING PLAYOFFS AFFECTED TEAMCURRENTIF MIN WINSIF DET WINSSWING The NFC North is on the line, and, for once, the Packers aren’t involved. Going into 2016, Green Bay had made the playoffs for seven consecutive seasons, winning an average of 11 games each year. So it’s come as some surprise that the Packers have basically played their way out of playoff contention by Week 12 — we give them just a 6 percent chance of making it to the postseason. Rising in their place are the Lions and Vikings. The winner of their game on Thursday will be in strong shape; the loser will be more likely to miss the playoffs than make them. 5. Kansas City (7-3) vs. Denver (7-3) — 66 total ���swing’ points Arizona1122418– 1. Minnesota (6-4) vs. Detroit (6-4) — 101 total ‘swing’ points Pittsburgh55%70%42%28– AFFECTED TEAMCURRENTIF PIT WINSIF IND WINSSWING Only teams with a playoff swing of at least 2 percentage points based on the game outcome shown Only teams with a playoff swing of at least 2 percentage points based on the game outcome shown Kansas City83967322– According to the Elo ratings that our NFL predictions are based on, the five best teams in the AFC are New England, Kansas City, Denver, Buffalo and Oakland — all in the East or West divisions. Since it’s looking unlikely that the AFC South or North will produce a wild-card team, Steelers-Colts will go a long way toward determining two divisional playoff spots and not much else.Indianapolis is in a rough position because of a bit of karmic payback: Although the Colts have outperformed their point differential the past few seasons, the Texans (6-4, outscored by 34 points) are managing the same feat this year. The Colts will need some help to win the AFC South even with a win. The Steelers, meanwhile, have a slightly better point differential than the Ravens, with whom they’re tied for first in the North, but it’s come against a slightly easier schedule. Pittsburgh is a good bet to make it in with a win, and not all the way out of it with a loss. 2. Pittsburgh (5-5) vs. Indianapolis (5-5) — 96 total ‘swing’ points CHANCE OF MAKING PLAYOFFS New Orleans101285– CHANCE OF MAKING PLAYOFFS Cincinnati1592111– Despite a narrow lead in the NFC South, the Falcons are in stronger shape than they may seem to be. Elo thinks Atlanta is way better than 5-5 Tampa Bay and 4-6 New Orleans, and although the Panthers still rank high (by Elo), they’re unlikely to win a division tiebreaker and their remaining schedule is rough. That means that if Atlanta wins on Sunday, the Falcons will make a pretty big playoff jump — and if they lose, their NFC South rivals make only modest gains. Washington, which currently holds the second wild-card spot in the NFC, would prefer that Arizona all but end its playoff hunt with a loss. AFFECTED TEAMCURRENTIF ARI WINSIF ATL WINSSWING This is another big game toward determining the AFC North winner. Cincinnati is very much alive despite its 3-6-1 record and even though star receiver A.J. Green is out with a hamstring injury for the next few weeks — the Bengals would improve to a roughly 1-in-3 chance of making the playoffs with a win here. Baltimore can make similar gains, and Pittsburgh, which has beaten Cincinnati but lost to the Ravens in Week 9, would rather the Bengals win. Pittsburgh5559527– Oakland8182803– Washington5653585– Minnesota65894643– Cincinnati1529524– Carolina91274– Only teams with a playoff swing of at least 2 percentage points based on the game outcome shown Denver76%58%89%30– 3. Arizona (4-5-1) vs. Atlanta (6-4) — 70 total ‘swing’ points AFFECTED TEAMCURRENTIF KC WINSIF DEN WINSSWING AFFECTED TEAMCURRENTIF CIN WINSIF BAL WINSSWING Only teams with a playoff swing of at least 2 percentage points based on the game outcome shown CHANCE OF MAKING PLAYOFFS Houston80867412– 4. Cincinnati (3-6-1) vs. Baltimore (5-5) — 68 total ‘swing’ points Tampa Bay1519136– Detroit58%32%79%46– Miami2931283– Indianapolis22123119– N.Y. Giants6667653– CHANCE OF MAKING PLAYOFFS Only teams with a playoff swing of at least 2 percentage points based on the game outcome shown Baltimore32%14%46%32– Buffalo2627252– Atlanta78%64%87%23– Baltimore32243814– The Broncos have already lost to the Raiders, who sit on top of the AFC West at 8-2. A loss to the Chiefs would put Denver in a dangerous situation, at risk of losing a division tiebreaker or a wild-card tiebreaker (or both!) to an AFC West rival. A Denver loss would have a pretty big impact: Since 1995, 7-4 teams have made the playoffs 68 percent of the time, but we’d give the 7-4 Broncos just a 58 percent chance if the Chiefs knock them off.CORRECTION (Nov. 23, 2:10 p.m.): A footnote in an earlier version of this article said incorrectly that FiveThirtyEight’s NFL prediction model does not project ties and gave an incorrect number of simulations in which the Oakland Raiders and the Carolina Panthers were projected to win their game on Sunday. In 100,000 simulations of the NFL season, Oakland was projected to win the game 58,042 times, not 57,955, and Carolina was projected to win 41,791 times, not 42,045.Check out our latest NFL predictions. read more

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